Cognition Predicts Quality of Life Among Patients With End-Stage Liver Disease

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BACKGROUND: Impaired cognitive functioning and poor quality of life (QoL) are both common among patients with end-stage liver disease; however, it is unclear how these are related.

OBJECTIVE: This study examines how specific cognitive domains predict QoL among liver transplant candidates by replicating Stewart and colleagues' (2010) 3-factor model of cognitive functioning, and determining how variability in these cognitive domains predicts mental health and physical QoL.

METHODS: The sample included 246 patients with end-stage liver disease who were candidates for liver transplant at a large, Midwestern health care center. Measures, including the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status, Trail Making Test, Shipley Institute of Living Scale, Short-Form Health Survey-36 Version 2, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, comprised latent variables representing global intellectual functioning, psychomotor speed, and learning and memory functioning.

RESULTS: Confirmatory factor analysis results indicate that the 3-factor solution model comprised of global intellectual functioning, psychomotor speed, and learning and memory functioning fit the data well. Addition of physical and mental health QoL latent factors resulted in a structural model also with good fit. Results related physical QoL to global intellectual functioning, and mental health QoL to global intellectual functioning and psychomotor functioning.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings elucidate a relationship between cognition and QoL and support the use of routine neuropsychological screening with end-stage liver disease patients, specifically examining the cognitive domains of global intellectual, psychomotor, and learning and memory functioning. Subsequently, screening results may inform implementation of targeted interventions to improve QoL.

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Transplant and Abdominal Surgery

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